Thursday, January 22, 2009

Potty training, continued

We started actively (and desperately) potty training Jack at the end of August, and we're still working towards consistently clean and dry pants.

I know some people successfully potty train toddlers in one day and others start quite early with infant elimination communication, but we have not been that lucky. It's been slow and steady progress, with the kind of bumps and setbacks typical to children.

Jack does quite well using the potty at school (when prompted) -- I think seeing older kids (mostly boys) using the bathroom is very good training for him. Now that he's been at preschool for almost 4 months, he's not the youngest anymore, and he emulates the bigger kids in many ways, potty included. He has been expressing some independence lately, asking his teacher to wait outside the bathroom rather than accompany him. He is working on pulling up his pants as well, so he sometimes hobbles around the school with his pants all the way up but his underpants around his knees.

At home he will usually use the bathroom when we remind him, but he very rarely (like just about never) uses the potty independently. We remind him regularly and he does great, but if we forget or he gets really tired he is prone to accidents.

In retrospect, I would again stop using diapers completely (except at night), grit my teeth, understand and accept that every single piece of furniture and rug would get peed upon, and keep the process moving forward. We decided that once we started in earnest with training we would never go back, which was hard when we had day after day of puddles everywhere and messes in his pants, but we kept going.

I would not try any of the following:

They never have done any good. He was not ready until he was ready and that's that.

When he does have an accident I acknowledge it in a matter of fact way, get him cleaned up, and move on. I know someday (probably pretty soon) he will be totally ready to take responsibility for his bodily functions. Till then, we keep the sweatpants handy and the "accidente" towel on the sofa.

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